Fluoride Action Network

China lists prevention of open coal-burners as major public health project

Source: People | Chinese people: Live longer and are physically stronger | September 11th, 2009
Location: China


China has changed from having a shortage of medical care and medicine to providing universal access to medical care, and from “the sick man of Asia” to a “healthy China.” In the 60 years since the founding of New China, China’s public health system and medical care service system has continuously improved, a basic medical security system has initially taken shape and the health of Chinese people is constantly improving.
At present, China’s average life expectancy rate has jumped to 73 years from 35 years when New China was founded in 1949; the maternal mortality rate has dropped from 1,500 to 34.2 per 100,000 and the infant mortality rate from 20 to 1.49 percent. These three health indicators have ranked China among top developing countries and reached the average level of upper-middle-income countries.

Public health
Yang Shunzhou, 52, a rural resident of Dafang County in the Bijie area of Guizhou, used to use an open coal stove like his forefathers for generations, causing him to suffer from serious skeletal fluorosis and deformed arms. In early 2009, with the help of a government subsidy, he finally replaced the outdated coal stove with a return-air iron furnace. In 2009, China has listed the prevention of coal-burning fluorosis as a national major public health project, staging a “cooking stove revolution”. 10 million people suffering endemic fluorosis are expected to be cured of the disease …